Minds of their own – and the IABC match

IABC Communication World - Cover Page - February 2014‘Minds of their own’ is the title of the February issue of Communication World and it seems like the BA and MA comms students at the London College of Communication match the description – but what can IABC do to match them?

I recently ran a brief workshop with 40 or so of this cohort of up-and-coming-talent (as Sarah Roberts Bowman asked so nicely) exploring comms, careers, values & whatnot and it was as energising as it was a wake-up call for the opportunity that IABC can play in helping developing the next generation of communications leaders. These are our future colleagues, clients, employees – and quite likely employers – so IABCers, it is time to step up.

As the CW article calls for, it is time to begin the process of transparent leadership that Millennials will complete as leaders. As you will see from the word cloud below (slide 2 in the embedded deck), it is clear what they value: honesty, integrity, generosity and trust – tied together through collaboration.

Loyal/loyalty is also mentioned a fair few times, but make no mistake, this is not the blind allegiance of the age of job-for-life-employment (full disclosure, I am an ex-IBMer, where once, tenure was taken for granted).

Here are three things IABCers can do right now to help develop the next generation:

  1. Mentor – have a look at what IABC UK’s Tessa O’Neill and Jon Woodcraft have to say about mentoring / being mentored.
  2. Commit to developing communicators in your care – IABC’s Career Roadmap can help with that – and I continually see the value gained for those who engage in the structured learning process built into programmes such as Gold Quill – which of course also gives a route to external validation and recognition.
  3. Keep your own skills sharp – otherwise you won’t be credible – and if you’re not familiar with reverse mentoring, now’s the time to find out – practical examples in Forbes and the FT
You may also want to take a good hard look at your own values – and those of your organisation. Slideshare have collated a handy collection under #culturecode – and if you need help with an exercise akin to the one illustrated here, then let me know.

Michael Ambjorn is founder of // Align Your Org and board director @IABC – follow @michaelambjorn for more of the above. You can also join the conversation: #ALIGN and of course #IABC.

Flick to slide two to see the word cloud – or scroll down for the Storify.